After a stunning upset on Friday night that saw the US Mens National Team (USMNT) lose to 2-1, to Jamaica, the team had a lot to prove just four days later on their home turf. With a qualifying spot on the line, the US Men came through and won 1-0 in a rematch to the same opponent.
It’s obvious that the team is still rebuilding and looking to the future at just about every position. However, we saw a team that was quite diverse and on the verge of something great under Jurgen Klinsmann.
Here are the top 5 things we can take away from their two very different performances in just under a week:
The USMNT Has Depth On The Bench
The 11 man squad that took the field in Ohio tonight, was almost unrecognizable, with the likes of Landon Donovan and Oguchi Onyewu not even on the bench. The usual suspects, however, came to play. Clint Dempsey was not quite 100% but still provided the sturdiness up top. Tim Howard was rarely tested but was up to the challenge when called upon. This game was a must win but also an opportunity for some to gain reoccurring roles in the squad.
The USMNT is Resilient
A short memory was needed by all members of the squad tonight, in order to forget the devastating and shocking loss just 4 days prior, and focus on the task at hand. The US struck early and often but Jamaica’s Dwayne Miller was up to the challenge, serving up a handful of fine saves to deny the US. In the 55th minute Hercules Gomez broke the deadlock and the Americans never looked back.
The USMNT is Tough
The US needed to win in order to secure a spot in the top two of the group. With Guatemala pulling off a win on the same night, the US were in for a bumpy ride. The Jamaican’s packed the back and made it very hard for the US to get in behind. The US proved that they were mentally and physically tough enough to win.
The USMNT has Room For Improvement (In a Good Way)
As I said previously, the US were far from full strength tonight. Now, they did win, and they did finish top of the group, but their play was sloppy at times. Jamaica had a number of chances that were handed to them. The US is strong, but can definitely be stronger. Kudos go out to Gomez who netted the game winner, Dempsey, Williams and Howard. All of whom played their hearts out. Get everyone elsee on board and the US is a scary team.
The USMNT Players Are Buying Into Jurgen Klinsmann’s Philosophy
Since becoming the US Head Coach in July of 2011, the turn around and new look to the team has been incredible. He already has a historic win under his belt from the US’ win over Mexico in Mexico for the first time. The team holds possession, controls the ball and controls the flow of the game. With more matches to come, the USMNT will be a force to be reckoned with in the very immediate future.